The Covid-19 situation in the country is deteriorating again, with the daily infection rate having been on a steady rise since 7 November according to health directorate data.
The number of infections has been increasing, so has the number of deaths.
Health experts say if Bangladesh sees infections at this rate for another seven days, it can be said the Covid second wave has started here.
In the past 24 hours till Tuesday 8am, 2,212 people were identified with Covid-19 infection. The detection rate against the number of tests was 13.83%.
During this period, 39 people died, which is the highest daily death in 57 days. Earlier, on 21 September, 40 people died in one day.
On Monday, 2,139 people were detected to have contracted the virus – highest in 70 days. The detection rate on that day was 13.57%.
Before Monday, the highest number of cases was identified on 7 September. On that day, the health directorate informed the media about 2,202 new cases. For a long time since then, the number of identified cases has remained below 2,000.
Professor Nazrul Islam, noted virologist and former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, thinks that if this infection rate continues for another week, it can be said the second wave of the virus has started in the country.
He said the reason for the increase in the number of deaths is that critical patients from outside Dhaka are coming to the capital. Many of them are dying.
"Patients are being brought to Dhaka as there are not enough ICU facilities in district towns," Prof Nazrul said.
In the 255 days since the first coronavirus infection was detected in the country, a total of 436,684 people have been diagnosed Covid-19 positive while 6,254 have died. Even after eight months, the situation has not come under control.
According to the World Health Organization, the infection is considered under control when the detection rate is below 5% for two consecutive weeks. But the infection rate in Bangladesh never fell below 5% since community transmission began at the end of March.
According to health directorate data, the infection rate fluctuated between 10% and 11% from mid-September to October. The infection rate has been increasing continuously since 7 November.
According to Johns Hopkins University and Worldometers, Bangladesh ranks fifth in Asia in Covid infections after India, Iran, Iraq and Indonesia.
"In Bangladesh, the emphasis is only on wearing masks to control the infection. That too is not being implemented well. Making masks compulsory as well as ensuring social distance, isolation, quarantine could reduce deaths," Professor Nazrul Islam told The Business Standard.
Dr M Mushtuq Husain, Covid-19 pandemic control consultant at the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), said wearing masks is just a part of the infection control.
Isolation is not being ensured for all the infected, with focus being laid on isolation of passengers coming in only through airports. The benefits of isolation of returnees could be obtained only if there was no patient inside the country, he said.
Outside Dhaka, Narayanganj was the Covid hotspot at the beginning of the infection. The number of patients has also started increasing in the district recently.
Narayanganj Deputy Commissioner Jasim Uddin told TBS that the infection was a bit less in the past few months. Now patients are growing in number again.
"We are putting more emphasis on wearing masks to control the infection. Mobile courts are being conducted to implement the government's 'No Mask, No Service' policy. The number of mobile courts will be further increased," Jasim said.
Habibur Rahman, director of Management Information System (MIS) and DGHS spokesperson, said they are isolating patients in some cases. But social distancing is still on the loose.
People are not following the health protocols and the health directorate is no longer a law enforcement agency to take actions against this, he added.